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Sylvester Stallone pushed daughter Sistine into shark-filled waters

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 15/08/2019 Bryan Alexander

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Sistine Rose Stallone did not need inspiration to act petrified of sharks in her movie debut, "47 Meters Down: Uncaged."

Her father, Sylvester Stallone, planted that fear when he literally pushed her into shark-filled waters during a boat tour off the island of Bora Bora.

The action played out as Sylvester was chumming the waters to attract the reef sharks during the family trip four years ago. He succeeded in attracting the sharks.

"So my dad thought it would be funny to push me in. He fully pushed me in," Sistine, now 21, tells USA TODAY. "I could see the sharks around me. I had a full-on panic attack."

To be fair, swimming with the moderately sized reef sharks is a common activity in the Polynesian paradise. But Sistine was prompted to quick movement once she hit the water.

"I didn't know it was possible to jump 10 feet out of the water, but I managed to," she says. "I've never moved so fast in my life."

No hard feelings. But once back onboard the boat, Sistine took immediate action against her father.

"I pushed him right in," she says. "Are you kidding me? If I went in, he's going in, too."

The experience has paid off now that Sistine is playing headstrong Nicole, one of four young friends pursued by killer great white sharks in the action-thriller opening Thursday.

Sylvester Stallone, Sistine Rose Stallone, Jennifer Flavin posing for a photo: Sylvester Stallone, Sistine Rose Stallone, Kennifer Flavin, Sophia Rose Stallone, Scarlet Rose Stallone attend the premiere of "47 Meteres Down: Uncaged." © VALERIE MACON, AFP/Getty Images Sylvester Stallone, Sistine Rose Stallone, Kennifer Flavin, Sophia Rose Stallone, Scarlet Rose Stallone attend the premiere of "47 Meteres Down: Uncaged."

Sylvester was on hand for the film's Los Angeles premiere Tuesday night to see his daughter for the first time onscreen. The action star already takes some credit her effective shark-fearing performance.

"When I bring that story up today, he says, 'I was just preparing you.' " says Sistine. "He acts like he knew the day would come where that would come in handy."

Sylvester had further advice for his daughter, when he found out that her character would have to – gasp – swim away from an approaching great white.

"He suggested that I talk to the director and rewrite the scene," says Sistine. "Instead of swimming away from the shark, he thought I should confront and sucker punch the shark. I was like, 'That is ridiculous.' But of course he would say that."

After joining his family at the world premiere, Sylvester raved about "47 Meters Down: Uncaged" on Instagram Wednesday, calling the movie "fantastic" and "incredibly thrilling" (even without the shark sucker punch).

"Like her old man, she did her own stunts as you can see!" he wrote about Sistine, along with a trailer clip. "I’d like to have all my fans please support this film this weekend."

"Love you," Sistine commented.

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A post shared by Sly Stallone (@officialslystallone) on Aug 12, 2019 at 10:38am PDT

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